Ron Costello

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Pope Francis put in a good word for Philly Sports
Ron, are you awake?
Of course not. What, I'd be asleep in a dream?
Don't get smart; this is Heaven speaking.
Is this God?
No, God assigned this to me. I'm about third down.
Oh, okay, what do you want?
God wants you to know that he likes your sports blog. And He's noticed that you've been to Rome a few times and hung out at the Vatican. But He doesn't like that you drink too much wine, over there. And sneaking glances at the Italian women? Tisk, tisk.
Oh, hehehe, he noticed that?
Ron, He's God.
Okay, sorry about that. So what's this dream about?
God wants you to know that when Pope Francis visited Philadelphia, the Pope gave God a glowing report. Because of that, He's sending some blessings to what you call, Philly. God likes that word..
Really? Like feeding the poor or washing feet?
No. He's sprinkled some Good Dust on the Eagles, Sixers, Flyers, and yes, the Phillies, too; although they needed more dust than the rest.
Get out of town!
Yes, you'll see soon. You'll see the results of God's Good Dust. So when you do, just be thankful, and tell those people in South Philly to clean up when their dog's poop on the sidewalks. God doesn't like that.
Yea, I agree. They should get fined. So what will happen to Philly sports because of the Good Dust?
Oh, you'll see Ron. You'll see. You can wake up now.

Sometimes, dreams come true, and what an amazing time to live in Philadelphia.

First the Eagles Super Bowl win and parade. Now the Sixers are in the first round of the Eastern NBA playoffs and hold a 3-1 lead over the Miami Heat as they return to Philadelphia and play Tuesday night. I'm looking for tickets.

I love the Sixers.

The wildcard Flyers are playing today in game six of the Eastern Conference playoffs, and are down 3-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. A loss and the Flyers' season is over. Another win and it sends the teams to the showdown Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.

And what about those Phillies?

They are 13-7 in the NL East and a game behind the first place Mets. Once they taste winning, there'll be no stopping them. They are good enough to either win the NL East or grab one of the two NL Wild Card spots and here's why.

They are the youngest team in baseball and if you have the right combination of players — the Sixers? — youth can overcome experience. Moreover, younger players do not get injured as often, and younger players are hungrier.

Their rotation is as good as the Mets, if not better. With Arrieta and Nola at the top of the rotation, they'll create a competition for the younger pitchers that follow them: Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ben Lively, and when they come off the DL, Jerad Eickhoff, Mark Leiter, Jr., and Zach Eflin.

The Washington Nationals have a great rotation, perhaps the best in baseball, but Scherzer and Strasburg have pitched a ton of innings and could break down in the stretch. The Nationals are weak in the four and five slots of their rotation.

When the Phillies bullpen is healthy — when they get Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter off the DL — it too can be as good as the Mets or Nationals bullpens.

Late in the season, the Dodgers, Rockies, and D-Backs play each other often, which might benefit the Phillies in the two Wild Card slots. Perhaps the Phillies can sneak in.

Here's the thing: It's great to be a Philadelphian. All four of Philadelphia's professional teams are made up of young, hungry players. Lookit, they have you know Who on their side.

They've been doused in the Good Dust.

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